REVIEW How do you say Kier? "Kia" like the car, if you had asked former Deee-lite diva Lady Miss Kier, when she was, er, hea for a special performance at monthly, genre-defying club Loaded on April 4.
The once de-groovy entertainer whose Brooklyn drag queen persona, complete with exaggerated accent that can best be described as a Rosie Perez-RuPaul collision, charmed audiences back in the early '90s when she convinced us we could bomb the world with ecstasy, armed only with the power of love and a good beat.
Maybe the routine's grown stale, maybe the drugs have worn off, or perhaps I've become too jaded for a World Clique (Elektra/Wea, 1990) mentality after watching bombs over Baghdad, part two, but Kier's performance this time around lacked sincerity. In fact, the once vibrant and agile songstress, who worked video screens and club stages in retro-futuristic catsuits and platform boots as part of the groundbreaking Dee-lite two decades ago, could no longer bring us together or even get it together that night, even aided by a skilled backing band including P-Funk's Ronkat and trippy background visuals.
Before the set began, Kier in a lime and aqua space-age church dress, topped off by an over-the-top monster weave that housed more extensions than AT&T kept the ironically mustached and spectacled crowd waiting for a good 20 minutes while rigging up her PowerBook. The purpose of this preliminary step became clear as Kier opened with her new material, including the less-than-stellar "Go Down on Me."
If she managed to maintain her soulful vocals, it was difficult to hear, since they were so heavily processed. If her eyes were still glimmering beacons of hope, it was impossible to see, since they continually searched her computer screen for lyrics. And forget about high kicks, when tightly trussed-up Kier could only manage the occasional hand-chopping move. As expected, Kier's closer the perennial favorite "Groove Is in the Heart" continues to set the dance floor ablaze. Still, Kier should heed her own wise words: "You're only as good as your new material." I wonder: if that's true, how one might say, deee-sappointed?
LOADED First Fridays, 10 p.m.2 a.m., $20. Rickshaw Stop, 188 Fell St, SF. www.myspace.com/clubloaded